#Poetry Publication: “At Summer’s End”

I’m delighted to share that my poem, “At Summer’s End,” has been published in the June 2020 edition of North of Oxford: “At Summer’s End.”

The poem was inspired by a late summer day at Fort Foster on the coast of Kittery, Maine. My eye was caught by a bank of beach roses that didn’t look right to me. They were the wrong shape, the wrong size, and the wrong color. The following images represent how the poem unfolded.

Fort Foster, 2017
Hannaford Cove Road, c. 1960s
Great-Great Aunt Etta & Liz, August 1957
Etta Reading to Nephew Fred & Niece Velma, c. 1905
Hannaford Cove Road Cottage, c. 1970s
Kay at the Cottage, Summer 1957
Etta, c. 1950
Lunch at the Economy Point Homestead, c. 1918
Etta on the Right with Her Sisters Elizabeth, Jane & Annie, c. 1900
Economy Point, 2017
Winter in Economy, Nova Scotia, 1930s
Water off Economy Point

131 thoughts on “#Poetry Publication: “At Summer’s End”

  1. Congratulations Liz on this poem’s publication. I appreciate reading about summer’s end with the inevitable making of rose hip jelly. This poem encouraged me to read further about this delicacy. I see you live in Vermont, and my wife and I may plan a trip over this way when traveling is more favorable and safe. I think I still have an older cousin living in Vermont.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I bought some rose hip jelly at the store a few years ago, but it was quite insipid compared to the homemade version. I’m working in Vermont (via the Internet), and I graduated from high school there, but I’m living in New Hampshire. I have a younger cousin living in Vermont.


    1. Thank you, Robbie. I know how fortunate I am to be the Keeper of the Family Archives. This treasure trove of photos has inspired countless stories and poems–and I finished a new tanka just last night!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful trip (in words and pictures) down memory lane. And for me, personal memories also—my mother used to love collecting rose hips at the end of August, to make rose hip jelly. Congratulations and thank you, Liz!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Liz, for sharing Etta with me. As I looked at the “long-ago” photos and read your word, she came alive to me. I was there with her harvesting the rose hips. You reminded me of the times my father and I would go blueberry picking in Northern Manitoba surrounded by black flies. I thought of how Etta worked over a hot stove to bring forth the precious jelly and thought of my grandmother canning fruit, with the steam filling the kitchen. I love the last days of summer, the time of harvest, the preparation for the long winter days of rest. A beautiful poem, Liz – thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Jennie! I’m so glad you enjoyed the poem and the photos. I’m going to have to do a little digging into Etta’s life. (I’d started a few years ago and then set it aside.) She emigrated to the US probably in the early 1920s. She ended up running a home for “wayward girls” in Newton, Massachusetts until she retired.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That should be a great research to do. I was struck by the photo of her with her sisters, thinking that was roughly the same age as my grandmother, too. So, how can I be here in this day and age, yet have a grandmother who lived so very long ago? She was a big part of my life. It is mind boggling.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a beautiful poem filled with evocative imagery and rich symbolism! I was especially taken with your intentional, repeated use of “memory,” especially of “memory at cliff’s edge,” and “Unexpectedly signaling the end.” Your great, low sprawls of dusty bushes juxtaposed with the brilliant crimson rose hips is wonderful. I can see it. I also love how you blended your memories with your mother’s, and the image of your mother looking down from the dormer at Aunt Etta from the beginning of the preserving work is precious. Your poem is a family legacy in itself, even without all the wonderful photos you’ve included! Thank you for making it available to us. With each reading I see something more…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, my goodness, Mary Jo, thank you so much for your kind words! They mean a lot. Part of what is so important about writing poems like this one is to preserve those places and people as they were. I need to do it for myself, but you’re right, they can be passed down as a family legacy.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I reflected back in (Summers End) to Mary Agnes and I walking the ridge above Penobscot Bay, Northport, ME, many years ago on family vacations. Grandson David graduated from Champlain in May of 2017. He has been with Viacom in NYC and doing quite well with his Champlain education in the Audio – Video field. You help to continue my education Lis. You forever make me look up word meanings, ellipsis sent me there this trip. You a Navy wife, Mary Agnes a Marine Corps wife.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations!, (though I’m excruciatingly late). Summer just snapped here, and thus the time is thronged with aptness for poems that are still summer-cracked. Interestingly, I never tasted rose hip jelly; we don’t have the custom of using rose hips, in Portugal, and I’m unsure why we never had it, despite it being such an European custom. Your poem is still so tender and loving, and the geometry it establishes with the pictures is delicious, especially since I’m so fond of older pictures. My family was too poor and remote for pictures, which is a bit sad because I don’t have many material memories, and even some names have faded and waned.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for much for reading and for your thoughtful comments! I was surprised at the number pictures my mother’s family took at the farm in Nova Scotia. I have some earlier pictures taken there as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations !
    It’s been wonderful experience to run through the imagery that the poem unfurls as it moves…the legacy carries the sweet smell of life and its simplicity….the innocence of bond…the memories don’t ignite passion but soothe the soul with a sense of belongingness, somewhat alien to the current world….moments flee, and pages burn, life fills the.memories urn….I am native of my memories…it connects me more to myself…perhpas, my own reflections too…
    Your poetic work has left a sweet touch on my thoughts…my heart too…
    Regards from India

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful, insightful, (and eloqent!) response to “At Summer’s End.” Your comment that “memories soothe the soul with a sense of belongingness, somewhat alien to the current world” is exactly where the poem came from.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Well done. But please, don’t rush the season. It is the one time out of the year when I can relax without fearing cold. Just for the record, freezing (in my book) is anything below 80 F. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you, Brett! It’s good to hear from you. How have you been? Any new posts in the offing for O’ Canada?

    When I wrote the poem, I didn’t expect it to end where it did.


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